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Thread: 2001 Honda Civic Aopen Pandora MiniPC

  1. #11
    Tainted Love Cris's Avatar
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    Looks like a very good plan.
    I'd say go for a boot install, as I'd think it would be easier to troubleshoot than an under seater...

  2. #12
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    Progress - Dash Fabrication

    I purchased some SEM 39768 Problem Plastic Repair Material from the local Finishmaster store. They didn't have Dynatron Flexible Bumper Repair, but said that this was very comparable and would bond my Lilliput plastic case to the plastic bezel of my Honda. Here's the SEM stuff:



    It's a two-part kit. It sets up very quickly (about 2-3 minutes) and dries to a gray color. It seems to bond very well. I actually dropped the piece about 5 minutes after it set and didn't do any damage. It's fairly thick in consistency, but self-levels well within the first minute.

    I had to hack the button board portion of the lilliput case to fit around some of my climate controls. Here's the portion where I hacked with a dremel:



    I used a straight-edge...though it doesn't matter much because the cut will be hidden by the SEM plastic stuff. I'll be relocating the button board... probably just somewhere hidden behind the dash since I don't have room for it in the dash. I'll relocate the remote sensor so I can use the remote. I may have fried it with a crappy soldering job last night. I won't know until I test it a bit more.

    So, I laid down a thin piece of balsa wood to level the Lilliput case to the bezel. On the 629, the bottom is a bit higher than the top, so I needed a small amount of space to get it to sit level with the bezel. I hot glued all this in place and then slathered a bunch of SEM stuff on the back of the bezel to seal it to the Lilliput case. Here's a pic:



    And, the front side after I "SEM'd" it in place:



    You can see where some of the SEM stuff bled through (no big deal) and the edge of the balsa wood on the top.

    After about 10 minutes to dry, I started laying down SEM stuff on the front of the bezel to flush it with the Lilliput. I did each of the four sides separately because this stuff dries FAST! I used a straight edge on each side to smear a level layer of the stuff between the bezel and Lilliput. Pics:



    And, closeup:



    I'm happy with it. It needs some sanding and then I'll have to go over it again with another layer of SEM. I'll have to figure out which of the two parts to reduce to give me a thinner consistency (if possible). I imagine another one, maybe two coats of SEM including sanding and then I can go to paint. Given how fast this stuff dries, I'm thinking tomorrow I should be able to paint it. I've put in about two hours not including hacking up the Lilliput case. This includes mounting/leveling the case and applying SEM stuff. This stuff is incredible. I would be spending days with fiberglass!

    Oh...i bought some SEM black satin paint as well. I asked the people at the body shop if I needed primer or anything and they said no...just clean it very well before painting. I had my bezel with me and they knew enough about the SEM plastic stuff, so I trust their opinion. They did recommend going as far as cleaning it with rubbing alcohol first, so I will do that.

  3. #13
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    A few more hours of work

    I'm starting to get into the fine detail. I spent a couple more hours laying down another coat of SEM plastic repair stuff and sanding. I'm finding that this is a lot like painting a house...if you do it right most of the work is prep.

    I needed to smooth out the joint between the bezel and Lilliput case. So, I taped off everything except this joint which was a major pain. It was near impossible to get the outer tape edge just right on the bezel, so I had to lay tape down and then cut it with a razor. But, I couldn't find an appropriate straight edge to get the razor cut perfect. So, I had to free-hand cut it and then fix the little mistakes I made. Once I got all the tape laid down like I wanted, applying another layer of SEM stuff was relatively easy. The end result of all this tape work and the next application of SEM plastic repair was this:




    And, without the tape:





    Now after a bunch of sanding:





    Finally, with the screen re-installed and running in the house:





    Again, I'm happy with how everything is working out. This plastic repair stuff is making it a much easier job than I anticipated and a hell of a lot easier than working with fiberglass (which I've done extensively with subwoofer projects). I can't imagine sanding fiberglass in the tight confines of this bezel.

    Speaking of sanding, the inside edges are the biggest pain of the entire project. I've got to figure out a way to make sanding these spots easier.

    I figure I'm still on track to get a coat of paint on tomorrow night.

  4. #14
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    Dash fabriction complete (for now)

    I sanded the bezel to lilliput joint for about an hour this morning and then threw on a coat of paint. The SEM paint dries very fast and adheres great. I cleaned the surface with alcohol before painting as directed by the body shop. It's not perfect, but it's also not a show car and I would like to get something up and running for now. I can go back over it with some pin-hole filling primer later if I feel the urge. Here are a few pics:





    With the screen installed:



    Now with Frodoplayer running (no skin yet and the flash washed out the screen pretty bad):



    I decided to relocate the button board to the back of the touchscreen case and just do without the remote for now. The button board is still fully functional so I can make any settings I need to while installing the screen in the car. I used some of the SEM plastic repair stuff to adhere the board to the back of the case just below the vents. It's on there pretty good and still very accessible. The ribbon cable (which I finally figured out the trick to seating...it needs to be all the way to one side) is easier to plug in now also. Here's the button board mounted on the back of the case:



    And, a straight-on shot showing the back of the install:



    I'm happy with it for now. It's running in the house and looks ok. I'm going to start installing today and hopefully finish up tomorrow.

  5. #15
    Tainted Love Cris's Avatar
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    Looks good. The screen bezel needs a bit more work though...

  6. #16
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    Thanks. Agreed the bezel doesn't look as good as I had hoped, but I want to get it all working and then think about touching it up.

    I got all the wiring done for the front of the car tonight. This includes everything from the Carnetix (connecting power to it will be easy because I've already got cable run from my old stereo install). I'm mounting the PSU behind the screen on a separate piece of the stereo bracket. All the wiring for the screen is done as well. I wired up two new M type barrell plugs for the screen and the Pandora. I also cut apart the power cable for the USB hub and wired that to the PSU. Everything is moving along on schedule.

    Tomorrow I'm going to install everything and get it connected to the rest of the stereo. I've got an Alpine 5 channel amp running separates in the kick panels/doors and a JL 6w0 in the rear. This is all temporary, but functional. I'm going to run the audio signal from the Pandora into an M-Audio MobilePre USB which will function as my sound card. It's also got XLR mic inputs for connection to my RTA software.

    For now, the Pandora, M-Audio MobilePre and USB Hub are going under the passenger seat. Now that I've got some experience with the SEM plastic repair, I will eventually relocate the MobilePre to the console between the front seats. There's a storage pocket there that is perfect for it. I will probably also use the SEM stuff to mold a few USB ports into the console or dash. Eventually, I'm going to fiberglass two 6W0 subs into the passenger footwell. When I do this, I may relocate the Pandora to there if it looks right. Otherwise, it will probably stay under the seat. I will also sell the components and just put in some good JL coaxials in the doors. I absolutely love the sound of well installed speakers in the kickpanels, but no matter how I fabricate something it always takes up too much driver footroom. I need my dead pedal back! When I do the speaker replacement, I would like to get rid of the Alpine amp and replace it with a JL slash series mounted under the drivers seat. I just don't need a 5 channel amp...I could probably make do with 2 channel with good passive crossovers. I need the trunk space!

  7. #17
    Variable Bitrate nameeri's Avatar
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    Quack,

    I have an '03 Civic and im also doing a car pc project. I was wondering if you have the exact part number for the bezel that you ordered from Majestic Honda? I went to the site from a link in one of your other posts, and I only found the part and a drawing part number, but then it didnt show the actual part or the cost. Please help! Thanks a lot!

  8. #18
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    Here's the part number:

    77250-S5A-A21ZA

    What I noticed when I took apart my '01 stock dash bezel was that the opening was very similar to the '05 SE I ordered from Majestic. The size of both was Double DIN I think. The one from majestic had rounder, smoothed edges. Neither opening fit the entire 7" lilli screen AND button board...I had to relocate the button board. You might want to take apart your '03 dash bezel before you drop $60 on a new one...see if it works for you.

  9. #19
    Variable Bitrate nameeri's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, my '03 civic has an opening that isnt square at all. Its still a double din, with a radio on top and a pocket but it would be a mess trying to get something to fit it just right. I've tried looking for an aftermarket double din mounting kit with no luck, i can only find the single din with pocket ones just like the one i already have Thanks for the part, thats a big help!

  10. #20
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    It's alive!

    It ain't pretty, but it works



    I had a mess for a day with the PSU. Two unrelated problems and my own inexperience with the PSU made the install a beeyotch. First, the fuse for my +12V constant power in the dash blew. But, it was the fuse in the engine compartment, not the one under the dash. So, it looked like I didn't have +12V unswitched in the dash! Resolved that.

    Second, the Radio Shack type M barrel plug that I soldered together to power the Pandora doesn't seem to work with the Pandora. I had to push the plug to one side to get power to the Pandora. It's clearly a different type of plug...same size, but the innards on the stock plug are different. So, I hacked apart the Pandora plug and soldered it to power/ground from the PSU. The Pandora plug AND wire are coaxial, so the solder job is a bit ghetto. The way I did it, it's safe and it works, so no big deal.

    After I got all that straightened away, the Pandora still wouldn't turn on. Mike H from Carnetix finally identified that I was using the wrong ACPI interface. I had to use the ACPI directly off the board instead of the one on the output molex. This was news even to him since he didn't have a definitive answer on the Pandora. Happy I could be a productive guinea pig . Once I got that straightened away, the PC turned on and off with the ignition switch, went into standby properly, etc., etc.

    Now, I've got to figure out how to auto turn the Lilli monitor without a remote control. I've got the FAQ...just need to read up on it. Hopefully I can get that taken care of and get the car put back together tonight.

    Next up:
    - Get the XM installed. The antenna, cable and XM direct are all installed, but I need to connect it to the computer. Since the Pandora doesn't have a serial input, I'll need to work something up.
    - Get the skin up and running on FP.
    - Move the M-Audio MobilePre USB to the center console between the seats and fabricate a mount. There's not enough room under the seats for all the stuff. It's a tight fit and I scratch the cases every time I move the passenger seat.

    I'm happy for now!

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